NOV/ DEC 2001
Volume 44 /  Issue 6

Project Articles
Rocking Horse
Child's Chalkboard
Wine Rack and Desktop Bookshelf

Ask Smitty
Owner’s Gallery
Letters from Owners
Academy Notes
Finishing Touches - Pt.2 Applying an Oil Finish
Service Pointers
MARK V (Worktable & Carriage) Troubleshooting
Safety Tips
Using Extension Cords

What's New
Pro-Fence System Router Table

Find A Shopsmith Woodworking Academy Near You
National Woodworking Academy in Dayton, OH

Online Accessory Catalog

Request Printed Accessory Catalog
Online Replacement Parts Catalog

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MARK V Demo Near You

Request MARK V Information Package

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Contacting Shopsmith

Copyright 2001.
Shopsmith, Inc.
All Rights Reserved


Hands On


The Child’s Chalkboard
Here's a nifty weekend project that will give the kids a great place to excersie their artistic talents, practice their math and leave important messags for parents, as well.

All children love to draw and doodle. Crayons and/or markers on paper are a great choice...but errors made with these materials can be difficult or impossible to correct. On the other hand, colored chalks on a chalkboard like this can be a lot less frustrating...and that can make everything a lot more fun, too.

Just let these easy-to-follow plans guide you to the creation of a project that's handsome enough to display in any room of the house...and enjoyable enough that your favorite kid (or kids) will look forward to hours on end of self-entertainment. We made this one out of hard maple with contrasting cherry drawer sides. Both of these are durable woods that are a true joy to work with.

Building The Framework
Be sure to select stock that's of a consistent, 3/4" thickness. If you have difficulty doing so and own a thickness planer, be sure to plane the stock for the stiles and rails (A,B,C) to 3/4" and cut them to size, according to the Bill Of Materials. If you are going to plane your own stock, joint one edge of these pieces first, then run them all through your planer at the same time. This way, you're certain to get the straightest, most consistently thicknessed stock possible. Note that the inner rail (C) is 1/2" wider than the other two rails (B).

Using your dado setup, cut the 2" long x 3/8" deep lap joints in the ends of the stiles (A) and rails (B), as shown. If you make these joints about 1/32" or less wider than the indicated 2", you can sand the joints off flush once you've assembled the framework.
CAUTION: Using the dado setup requires working without the upper saw guard. Be extremely careful when performing this operation.

Next, lay out and cut the mortises and tenons for attaching the inner rail (C) to the stiles (A). The tenons on each end of the inner rail (C) should be 1/4" thick by 2" long by 1/2" deep. Now, cut the mortises using your Shopsmith Hollow Chisel Mortising setup or your Router setup with a 1/4" straight bit. If you don't own either of these setups, you can drill your mortises out with a 1/4" brad point bit, then clean them up with a bevel-edged wood chisel. To keep the tenons from “bottoming-out”, make the mortises just slightly deeper than the 1/2" tenons -- 9/16" is about right. Dry fit the frame assembly to be sure everything goes together properly.

Using your dado or router setup, cut a 1/4" deep by 3/8" wide rabbet along the inside back edges of the stiles (A), top rail (B) and inner rail (C) to accept your 1/4" thick chalkboard. NOTE: If you're using a purchased chalkboard that's thicker than 1/4", adjust your rabbet depth accordingly.

Glue and assemble the stiles (A), rails (B) and inner rail (C) to create the framework. Be sure to check carefully for squareness at all joints and set aside to dry.


Child's Chalkboard

View Plans &
Assembly Drawing
Drawer Layout
Drawer Box Layout

Frame Layout
Decoration Layout
List of Materials